COVID 19 – Update #9
Tuesday March 17, 2020
Re: COVID-19 CIC update
To: All CIC Students, Parents and Partners,
Following Monday’s (March 16) announcements from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams’ outlining sweeping restrictions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Premier Doug Ford has declared a State of Emergency In Ontario early in the morning of March 17, 2020. CIC’s senior leadership wishes to communicate to all stakeholders the steps we are taking to support the safety and well-being of our students, staff and our community. At this early point following Premier Ford’s announcement this morning, the impactful statement is one of social distancing, limiting community exposure and banning gatherings of more than 50 people.
We are taking steps to keep the students safer and give better peace of mind to the parents. The measures will cover three important areas:
- A shortened school year
We recognize the concerns of parents when their children are studying away from home at this current uncertain time of COVID-19. To comply with one of the measures in suppressing the spread of COVID-19, last week we announced the beginning of remote academic learning commencing March 23rd. In addition to remote teaching and learning using Google Classroom, today we have modified the remainder of this semester’s calendar in order to shorten the students’ stay at CIC and make available the option for your children to return home earlier.
The new calendar will finish final assessments on or before April 24 2020. In order to achieve this, our classes will be extended to 105 minutes each Monday to Friday and there will be additional mandatory student learning components on weekends beginning March 28th. Time for Sunday online religious service is considered.
Students in our Residences will have access to the Google Classroom and its associated apps. We already performed a trial run last Friday. Students in homestay or their current off-campus home will also receive support from us easily since they are all local.
Regarding summer semester, CIC students at this time will be permitted to stay in our residences and pursue remote academic learning.
At this point, we regret to inform you that our scheduled Prom and our May Graduation are cancelled and we are considering alternatives.
We are waiting for official word from EQAO regarding this year’s OSSLT (Literacy Test). As soon as we receive information, we will communicate to students.
More details to follow over the next few days.
- Social distancing is a priority.
Students’ health and safety and that of our CIC community is important to all of us. We have put new proactive, precautionary measures in place for everyone’s safety. Our Public Health Offices are emphasizing the importance of Social Distancing. With this in mind, all residence students will now have restricted access to the community outside of their residence effective immediately – Tuesday March 17, 2020.
- Students will be restricted to planned activities within CIC residences and school buildings.
- Multiple activities will be offered in small groups as advised by Public Health and supervised by staff members.
- Students will of course be permitted to enter the Hamilton community for essential services such as medical emergencies.
- Items from restaurants, groceries and pharmacies should be ordered online and delivered to their Residence.
- Recess time will be scheduled for exercise and fresh air on their assigned Residence property.
In short, this means that until the COVID-19 threat has subsided, students are not independently allowed off their assigned Residence property. The same expectation of social distancing will also apply to our Homestay and Off-campus students. This strong measure is meant to support the safety and the integrity of the school semester for all of our students. It is also aligned with Ontario Public Health’s message to all Ontarians – “stay home.”
- In the event that a CIC community member tests positive for COVID-19.
Senior management has proactively developed a pandemic plan in the event that a student or staff is diagnosed positive with COVID-19.
Immediate steps include, but are not limited to the following:
- Medical and wellness support and alignment with Hamilton’s Public Health.
- Self-isolation at home for staff, and isolation for students for a minimum of 14 days. There will be complete separation between an infected individual and the school population.
- Contact tracing of the infected individual’s history to identify and support, as needed, other individuals that have been in direct contact with the infected individual. Self-monitoring or isolation of others may be necessary.
- Terminal cleaning of necessary locations.
- Timely and transparent communication with all stakeholders.
- Care and support for ASEP needs of the infected individual. Academic learning may continue if symptoms allow.
The COVID-19 situation is fluid and rapidly changing. And so must our school’s response. We all have a civic duty to make good choices, to stay healthy and act responsibly to protect ourselves, our friends and our entire school community.
CIC has been working to ensure that the school is in a state of readiness as we continue to monitor COVID-19. In addition to the steps mentioned in previous updates, we have taken the following ADDITIONAL precautionary measures:
- Disinfecting and cleaning of the school buses before and after our student use.
- In addition to the compulsory use of hand sanitizer at the entry to the dining areas, now, we strictly direct students and staff to use hand sanitizer upon entry to each building.
- Frequent cleaning of high touch points (elevator buttons, door handles, table tops, activity equipment and recreational spaces etc.).
- Cafeteria self-serving is not available for cross contamination containment
As always, we encourage you to stay up to date with trusted sources of information:
I want to thank all students and parents for your commitment to our school. Our students’ safety remains our top priority. We will be preparing a Q&A in the coming days to share with our school community.
Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any concerns or questions.
My email address is bironside@cic-TotalCare.com
Yours in education,
Bill Ironside, Principal
Columbia International College